Sunday, February 19, 2006

Finding time to Blog

Lately I've been struggling to find time to blog. I don't want to blog from work, even at lunch, because that seems like it is just inviting disaster. I should figure out how to carve out 30 minutes a day to devote to this because I'm frequently ready to spew about something but have no one (except The Wife and she's tired of hearing it) to discuss it with.

I am happy to report that The Wife and I are getting involved in local politics. The Wife was a volunteer during the 2004 campaign season and last year some acquaintances ran for local office and won. We supported those campaigns and met lots of people on election night and then we had a house party for Patrick Murphy who is running for Congress in the 8th District of Pennsylvania against Mike Fitzpatrick (well he needs to win the primary first). Yesterday we heard Larry Glick, candidate for PA house in the 143rd district, speak at an event. I also got a chance to actually talk with some of the people who I met on election night. I'm excited to be getting involved in local Democratic politics. We've been feeling a little lost out here because we've been here almost 4 years and we haven't made too many new friends. Part of the problem is because we don't have kids. For some reason, many people with kids don't even think to include us in anything. We like kids, really we do, we just couldn't have them (or adopt them or foster them...we've considered all the angles, health reasons prohibit us from being parents). We do things with our friends who have kids but we knew them before they had kids. Of course, in my paranoid days I wonder if people with kids don't invite us because we're gay and they don't want to expose their kids to us. This thought simultaneously makes me angry and profoundly sad. Anyway my hope as we get involved in local politics more and meet more people is that we'll make some local friends who we can go to dinner or the movies with, who we can have over for dinner or football or cards, and that we can meet some people who we can travel with. We like to travel but it's always just us. Sometimes it would be nice to have people to travel with because The Wife and I don't always want to see the same things. If we were in a small group we could split up sometimes and both of us could see the thing(s) that interested us most.

Time to load more tunes on the iPod.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Coming home to snow

I'm having trouble believing that the Super Bowl was only a week ago (and I'm bummed I never had the opportunity to blog about it or really enjoy the fact that the Steelers won.) I had to get ready to leave on a business trip to Spain on Tuesday that would be followed by 3 days vacation in London (The Wife was going to join me in London). It's been a hectic week. The business trip was generally fine as business trips go - no major hassles and we accomplished what we went there to accomplish.

London was expensive. I made the mistake of booking The Wife on a bus from the airport (then booked myself two days later on the same bus). It took FOREVER - traffic was tremendous and it was the middle of the morning. I can't even imagine what rush hour must be like. I had The Wife's best interest at heart when I booked it - I didn't want her to have to haul her luggage on and off the train and then drag it through the station to find a cab. We took a cab and the Heathrow Express train on the way back and it was painless and barrier-free (and took less than an hour door-to-door).

We saw an old friend (who will be referred to as the Italian former boyfriend who is gay...TIFB) who was a wonderful companion (along with his husband) for the wife when she first arrived and who spent Friday and Saturday evening with us. It was his 39th birthday on Saturday and he hosted a fab party in a gay bar. MMMMMM, BEEEER. We had a good time with the "Hi, I'm TIFB's former girlfriend" angle - unfortunately The Wife picked up a nasty cold in London so she was back at the hotel and this caused some confusion among the attendees. Apparently two of them were arguing about whether or not I'm gay. HA. TIFB's husband (after several mojitos) was asking all kinds of amusing questions which I, tongue well loosened with Hoegaarden beer (there's something really wrong about a lesbian drinking something called HO garden) was indiscreet in answering.

I will now say something that may surprise you - we had good food in London... It was Indian food, not "English" food but wow, was it good. We don't have an Indian restaurant near us now and I really miss Indian food. I ate it all the time when I was in grad school. I also had a "pasty" filled with steak, stilton cheese, onion, potato, and maybe turnip. It was good.

I had the opportunity to interact with my English counterpart - The Chemist (aka the pharmacist). The Wife woke up with a cold on Saturday morning so I went to "Boots, The Chemist" to get some things for her. Unlike here where I could stand in the cough and cold aisle and browse (and read ingredients etc ) in the UK some of the non-prescription items are behind the counter so you have to ask for them. Not knowing what anything was called or what it contained I had to ask the Chemist. I also had to lie through my teeth to the Chemist (is she taking any other medications? Just some Tylenol...).

To be continued...

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Can they please just play the game already? Is it just me or did they play the Super Bowl earlier in the day back in the 70s? I have distinct memories of watching what I thought was the Super Bowl during the afternoon at the neighbor's house with my Dad. Somehow I think my parents should have known then - all the neighborhood men and me. I must have been all of 8. Having grown up near Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s when the Steelers were good I couldn't help being a Steelers fan. I had a Steelers jacket, stocking cap, T-shirts (including a "one for the thumb in '81" purchased specially for me by my Dad. This is significant because my mother bought [and still buys] all gifts in our family), and who knows what else. The Wife (despite being a lifelong fan of another team) has embraced my love of the Steelers and it was a Steeler Christmas - light-up pen, ornament, helmet lights, black terrible towel, and T-shirt. Earlier in the season she game me a yellow terrible towel and a new winter hat (so my ears don't get cold when I run the snow blower.) I also have the Steeler Snowman. [As an aside, Dancing with the Stars is the stupidest show on television and I am very sorry that Pizza Hut is sponsoring the ABC SuperBowl pre-game show because I am already tired of the Jessica Simpson "These bites are made for poppin' ad.] PLAY THE GAME ALREADY.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Here's your sign TM

Today THe Wife and I ran errands. We went to the Italian deli and picked up some prosciutto and some Italian cooked ham along with some fresh mozzarella and fresh ricotta. Then we returned something to Target (bought the wrong size Hanes for a friend in London) and went to the pet store to get the Supersize pet litter. I really wish we could teach the cat to use the toilet (yes, this includes flushing) but we can't get her to not miss the litter box when SHE'S STANDING IN IT so I think it's a lost cause. We ended up at the book store where The Wife wanted to get a map of London. We are unable to leave the book store without a pile of books so when we arrived at the register the cashier announced "Got some books there." No, I'm buying fire starters. HERE'S YOUR SIGN! (with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.) Dude, you work in a book store. Why would you say that?

Ok, can the SuperBowl start already.
As a hobby, I make cheese. Living in semi-rural PA we have several dairys nearby and can get "farm-fresh" milk. We even have a couple of options for raw milk (non pasteurized, non homogenized) which makes the best cheese. I'm not sure what made me think of making cheese, it was probably a trip to Vancouver Island, Canada a few years ago. I've had good success with mozzarella but my cheddar was nasty. We think we solved the problem with the cheddar by buying a "cheese fridge" and getting a cheese fridge thermostat so we can age cheeses at the correct temperatures. I am now making something called "Guido's Cheese" from the book Home Cheese Making by Rikki Carroll. My first batch was ok. My co-workers and friends liked it. I thought it wasn't quite there. I bought new cultures and rennet and tried again. Last night I couldn't stand it anymore so I (lacking a cheese trier) dug a chunk out with a sharp knife and tried a piece (you reseal it by sticking the remainder of the chunk back in the hole and smearing a bit of butter on top to seal it.) I think this round may be pretty good. We aren't going to cut it until we come back from London on the 12th as we can't eat a 2 lb cheese in 3 days. I'm also trying to make Provolone for my Dad. So far no luck. My first batch was a complete disaster. That was the impetus to buy the new stuff and to ask for some additional things as gifts. Now I just need a cheese press. I have weights but when I am initially pressing the cheese they slide off and the resulting crash scares the pets. The Wife is going to build me a cheese press but she hasn't had time lately.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Right now the Pennsylvania House is considering House Bill 2381 or The Marriage Protection Amendment. Pennsylvania already has a law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and, in fact, invalidates a same-sex marriage entered into in another state. From my perspective this new bill is nothing more than ignorance and hatred. It would deny me hospital visitation rights, impact inheritance, and interfere with my right to make healthcare decisions with my family. We already had to pay our lawyer for wills, living wills, and powers of attorney (healthcare and otherwise). In fact we had to do this twice because we moved from one state to another and wanted to take the opportunity to make some other changes. How does my relationship with my partner impact anyone else's family? Why does anyone else need to be involved in end of life discussions between my wife and I? And despite being under 40 we've had those discussions about 3 times now because the wife has a congenital cardiac anomaly. It's hard enough to talk about let alone involve others. Fortunately for us our birth families are supportive and won't interfere should we have to make these decisions (and anyway they are in agreement with us.) As an aside, if I am ever at the point where 2 physicians give me little or no chance of regaining a meaningful quality of life, please PULL THE PLUG! I've just realized that I am blathering and I am not coming to a point. So my point is this, leave us alone. We are law-abiding, tax-paying, property owning people. We are not a threat to anyone's marriage. You worry about your relationship and I'll worry about mine. 'K?
Welcome to Boogers from Space. I plan to post on whatever strikes me. Although I have promised myself I will not comment on my co-workers or anything that happens at my job. Self-preservation, you understand. Staying employed is important. Please feel free to leave comments but I reserve the right to delete anything for any reason. It is my blog after all.